Ameristar sets record

October 30, 2001 5:00 AM
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A record performance by Ameristar Casinos Inc. (ASCA) during the third quarter of the current fiscal year was announced Monday with credit being given to the acquisition of two Missouri casinos and the sale of The Reserve in Henderson, Nev.

For the period, Ameristar registered record net revenues of $162.7 million, an increase of 93% over last year; record diluted earnings per share of $0.49, exceeding analysts forecast of $0.47 per share; record income from operations of $32 million, and record EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $41.9 million compares to $15.1 million for the third quarter of 2000, an increase of $26.8 million or 177%.

“Our third quarter results,” said company president and CEO Craig H. Neilsen, “demonstrate that our strategy of investing in ourselves is paying off. In Council Bluffs and Vicksburg, guests are enjoying the like-new properties following their recent renovations. We expect this strategy to continue to yield positive results next year when the new casinos and entertainment facility at Ameristar St. Charles opens and the parking garage at Ameristar Kansas City is completed.”

Scientific Games Corp.
Scientific Games Corporation (SGM), the result of a merger between Autotote Corp. (TTE) and Scientific Games Inc. (SG) reported substantial growth in revenue and profitability during the third quarter ended on Sept. 30.

Revenue and EBITDA increased to $107.2 million and $27.1 million, respectively, compared to last year’s $63.4 million and $10.6 million. On a per share basis, the loss was $0.01 per share, a decrease from last year loss of $0.70 per share.

For the nine-month period of the fiscal year, revenues increase to $331.9 million from last year’s $162.2 million and EBITDA grew to $80.3 million from $33.1 million.

Argosy Gaming
Argosy Gaming Company (AGY) experienced its best ever third quarter for the Sept. 30 period, with a 38% increase in third quarter earnings per diluted share to $0.62 on net income of $18.3 million.

Last year, during the comparable period, net income was $0.45 a share on net income of $13.1 million.

Casino revenues for the current quarter totaled $216.1 million, an increase of $43.9 million over the third quarter 2000. The increase was primarily due to the acquisition on July 31, 2001, of Empress Casino Joliet from Horseshoe Gaming.

Churchill Downs
Reflecting the impact of the terrorists attacks on Sept. 11, race track operator Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN) posted a smaller third quarter profit. Earnings were $7.1 million or $0.54 a share compared to $7.3 million or $0.68 per share a year earlier when fewer shares were outstanding.

The earnings were slightly below the average estimate of analysts who had estimated earnings to be in the $0.55 to $0.57 range.

The company said that barring unforeseen problems it expects higher revenues and earnings for the fourth quarter.

Penn National Gaming
Penn National Gaming reported record third quarter results with revenues rising 67.3% to $145.5 million compared to last year’s $86.9 million.

Net income for the quarter rose 52.5% to $7.713,000 or $0.48 per diluted share, compared to net operating income of $ million or $0.33 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2000.

The former Pennsylvania racetrack operator has expanded its gaming activity to include Bay St. Louis Casino Magic, Boomtown Biloxi Casino, Casino Rouge, management contract for Casino Rama in Canada, and slot machines at its West Virginia track, Charles Town.

Other gaming companies
In other fiscal reports, Horseshoe Gaming Holding Corporation reported net revenues of $219.4 million, down from last year’s $252.3 million because of the sale of its Illinois riverboat to Argosy Gaming; PDS Gaming Corp. had net income of $386,000 or $0.10 per diluted share compared to $177,000 or $0.05 a share last year, and Riviera Holdings Corporation (RIV) had a net loss of $2.5 million or $0.71 a share compared to a net loss last year of $2.4 million or $0.61 a share.